It was the tweet heard around the Twittersphere: “Did you get the pic I sent you?”
Seemingly normal question from one person to another, ‘cept these ain’t just any ol’ folks batting messages back and forth. It was Chris Brown and Rihanna. You know, domestic violence and restraining order Chris Brown and Rihanna. Physical altercation and dukin’ it out in the car Chris Brown and Rihanna. And we thought the saga was over. But we should’ve known better than to put anything past the power of the toxic relationship.
Sometimes two people are just so crazy that they think no one else could be more well-suited for either one of them than each other. Been there, done that. Maybe you have too.
It’s not like we didn’t see it coming. A few weeks ago, a fan called Rih Rih out for following Chris on Twitter. Now, just a few weeks later, Ms. Good Girl Gone Bad and Mr. I-Work-My-Publicist-Overtime seem to be easing back into communication.
Rihanna has already admitted that she’s got kind of a thing for violence. Sticks and stones may break her bones but chains and whips excite her, right? But more than that, sometimes it’s just hard to shake off love, foul and unhealthy and downright counterproductive as that love might be. Would I put it past her and Chris to be stealthily chatting behind the scenes? Nope, not at all. Because I was that girl once.
My first real relationship gave me pause to take leave of any good sense I had. I didn’t just fall in love. I somersaulted into it. We couldn’t get enough of each other. My boo had plenty of flaws, but his temper was the worst of them. Homeboy didn’t just get mad. He flew into rages. And anybody who had the misfortune of being in the line of fire — senior citizen, Boy Scout, paraplegic, whoever — ran the risk of getting dealt with if they crossed him at the wrong time. Including me.
Once, he stopped by my room in college unannounced to find a guy from my English lit class hanging out. The visit was completely innocent. Heck, I had just gotten done washing my hair and anybody who knows anything about black girls knows we ain’t letting no guy we’re interested in come over with our hair looking like a fresh mound of shrink-wrapped poo poo. But trying to convince The Boyfriend of that was useless. And dangerous.
I followed him out in the hallway, no doubt leaving my guest wishing he’d made a better decision on how to spend his evening. In the process of my desperate attempt to explain away his anger, I grabbed his arm so he wouldn’t leave. Instead, he reared back and half slapped, half shoved me. I felt myself lift off the floor, crash, then skid down half the length of the hallway on my hip and shoulder.
My lungs hurt because the wind had been knocked out of me and I gasped hard and quick to get it back. My neck was killing me, my head was throbbing. He wasn’t a little guy, about 5’10” and 250 to my 5’4” and then-130 (I tend to gravitate to big, kinda chunky men). But I was more hurt emotionally than anything else.
Please believe that didn’t stop us from reconciling, though. He came over later, crying and apologizing. We sobbed together and although I was apprehensive at first, we struggled along for the next three years, which meant plenty of fights, not all of which escalated into that level of melodrama. But sometimes they did. And they always got progressively worse, to the tune of bumps, bruises, and black eyes.
And me and my crazy self loved him just as hard as I could in spite of it.
Of course now, when I look back, I’m fully aware that that thing was a toxic relationship. I don’t even think I realized then that it was. Ultimately, he ended up breaking up with me. That’s the only way it would’ve stopped because Lord only knows when I would’ve become self-aware enough to realize our love affair was completely unhealthy.
So I know firsthand the silent song of the toxic boomerang relationship. And I know both Rihanna and Chris are just better off leaving that thing with a period at the end. Sometimes people just bring out the worst in each other.
Have you ever been in a toxic relationship? It didn’t even have to be an abusive one per se, but just one that you knew wasn’t good for you?
Image via michperu/Flickr